Colour vs. Black and White

 

A lot of the time, the first thing you see in an image are the colours. Bright and bold colours are eye-catching, you are drawn to them. I shoot both in colour and black and white. Both have their advantages but they also have their weaknesses. Each photographer has to experiment to find their preference. 

Lucy the Pug

With colour photography, it’s easy to catch someones attention. People are automatically drawn to images that contain bright and bold colours. You will know yourself that you seem to be drawn to things with bright colours. This is just human instinct, we like things that stimulate our brain, and bright colours do this at first glance. As a photographer, you always want people to be drawn to your work. You want people to appreciate it. Bright and bold colours are a sure fire way to ensure people look at your work.

Tunstall Reservoir 

However, there are also some drawbacks of shooting in full colour. With colour shots, it’s difficult to show emotion. Bright colours usually represent happy emotions, it takes a skilled artist to change this perception. If you want happy pictures, black and white might not be the way to go. Obviously there are exceptions to this rule, for example; sometimes giving an image the vintage feel can really enhance the emotion. Wedding photos specifically work well in this theme I feel. 

By shooting in black and white, you can really capture the emotion of dark moments. Dark colours tend to portray dark emotions really well. An image of a rainy day will always look better in black and white. It’s just the way it goes. One reason why I love black and white images is that you can experiment. It takes a lot of practice to capture a black and white image with the right texture and lighting. When I shoot in black and white I love experimenting with shapes and lighting to get just the right shot. There are so many variables that can seriously alter an image. That’s my favourite part of black and white, there are so many subtle possibilities.

Despite the positives, there are a few cons to shooting black and white. In my opinion, it takes a lot more editing to perfect a black and white image. The options are endless in post-processing, and for me, it’s difficult to decide on a style for black and white images. Do I want high contrast? Do I want the highlights to be enhanced? Do I want to have selective colouring? There are just so many options and I’m a very indecisive person, so editing a black and white image takes a long time. I go from style to style to style and back to the first one. Even after exporting the final image I still sometimes go back and change it. But that’s the joys of modern technology, all of this is possible with minimal effort.

For me, the passion of black and white images outweigh the option to shoot in colour. There’s something about the elegance of a black and white image that will always win. Seeing the emotional response change between the original image and the final cut is breathtaking for me. I love to see how emotive a single picture can be and how much that can change. However, there is one type of colour image I will always love. Sunsets. I love them. They’re my favourite thing to shoot. I spend many a night just sat in fields taking far too many pictures of the sunset. That’s something that I could never shoot in black and white!

Sorry it has been so long since my last post,

Alex

Find me in all of these places:

Twitter: @lexandacamera

Instagram: @lexandacamera

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